Ride with Clyde
Welcome to Season 2 of Ride with Clyde. I’m your host, Clyde Hudson. As we prepare for the start of SCORacing’s third season, we were fortunate enough to have Alex Light swing by the studio and participate in our first episode of Season 2. This time, instead of a fancy sports car, Light selected a 2016 Turbo Polaris RZR as his vehicle so we geared up and headed to Rockford, IL to visit Rocky Glen OHV. Hopefully it’s not stipulated anywhere in our contracts that we can’t participate in any dangerous activities off the track.
You guys might recognize Alex Light from seeing him inside the #13 3M and Monster Energy Drink car every race night. He finished fifth last season in Tier 1 with one win, seven top fives, and ten top tens. He had a very solid season completing 95% of the laps throughout the year, surprisingly a higher percentage than first and second place Vandoorne and Keselowski.
Light wanted to get away from the racetrack and out into the wild for his episode, a first for us here at Ride with Clyde.
“Getting away from the concrete tracks and onto the dirt tracks in the woods at fast speeds is fun, too.” he said regarding his selection of vehicle.
I, personally, had never been off-roading so this was a first for me and let me tell you, I hope this first off-road episode isn’t our last.
Since we’re just kicking off SCORacing season three, I thought we would keep this discussion more related to the league and what we can expect. I asked for a driver Light thought would surprise us and a driver that he thought would disappoint in SCOR Tier 2. He didn’t pull any punches and his choice for a driver to disappoint might “shock” you.
“Tier 2 driver that will surprise… Cooter Bigsby. Big engine, big ambition. I can see him perform well. Tier 2 driver that will disappoint…Spark Spencer III. [He’s] used to being at the front and running away with it. [He] will struggle in the mid-pack traffic in NSRS.”
A rookie for most likely to surprise and most likely to disappoint is surprising to me. He’s not wrong about Spencer III, he is used to starting and finishing at the front of the pack from his days in Tier 1 but I don’t agree with the thought that he’ll struggle. I think he could fight his way from the back if he had to, we just never got to see it because he qualified so well.
Next, we discussed what tracks Light was looking forward to the most this year.
“[I’m] looking forward to three tracks. Bristol because I won there last season. Circuit Gilles Villeneuve because it’s at home. Talladega Superspeedway because it’s a crazy fun race.”
Despite Circuit Gilles Villeneuve being his “home track”, Light qualified well, starting in second, but fell 16 positions to finish 18th while at Talladega, he started in 12th and finished 11th. He will look to impress the hometown crowd a little more next time around, that is for sure.
We struggled to get two drivers to interview this week so I will answer these same questions myself. I think that Mike Molholt will surprise people this year. He finished 98% of races this past year and finished the year 14th in points. With a little work, he can definitely become a top five driver. Now, for a driver who will disappoint, it’s a little harder for me to predict. I think it’s likely that some of the middle of the pack drivers from Tier 1 who made the jump to Tier 2 will underwhelm. Guys like myself or VanDerBooben might struggle, especially early on.
As for tracks I am most looking forward to, it’s gotta be any of the super speedways. I have been working a lot on my techniques on those longer tracks, trying to get an edge any way that I can.
That’s all we have for this week’s episode of Ride with Clyde. Thanks for sticking around and make sure you tune back in next week for the next episode where we will look to talk with some Tier 1 drivers.